When thinking of Thanksgiving, our minds tend to drift to the always exciting dessert menu. Pecan pie, apple cobbler, cakes, cookies, the list goes on and on. One item that is always on the menu is pumpkin pie. This festive dessert never fails to make an appearance during the holiday season, being one of the most traditional dishes on the table. Pumpkin pie has been served for over 400 years in some form or another. Most people would like to think that this dessert was served at the first Thanksgiving in Plymouth Rock, but this did not happen. The Pilgrims did use the pumpkin by filling the hollowed out fruit with milk, honey, and spices and then stewing the pumpkin, but because they lacked ovens, they were not able to bake a pie.
Native Americans in the area were the ones who introduced alternative methods of use with pumpkins and squash, developing them into the earlier forms of pumpkin pie. It would not be until the 1670’s that recipes closely related to the modern day pumpkin pie would appear in English cookbooks. It would then be another 100 years for an American cookbook to publish such a recipe. Now, there are endless recipes telling us how to make pumpkin pie cheesecake, pumpkin pie muffins, along with endless forms of this American classic.
By Wylie Heiner, Opinion Editor ’14